Welcome to the Big City

We landed at the local airport in San Jose after a lovely 45 minute flight from the western part of Costa Rica. As we disembarked, we were met by policemen and a dog on the tarmac.

“Drop your bags. Stand behind the line.”

I did, and quickly realized we were about to be searched. I laid my backpack in front of me and took a couple of steps back. I watched as the dog sniffed each bag, both carry-on and checked. We had officers at each end of the line, staring at us.

I turned to my travel companion and whispered, “Do you think this is normal? Or that they’ve been tipped off?” “Not sure. Maybe it’s a training exercise?” It felt more like we were on a movie set for a cop show. I looked around at the other ten passengers. Who was the most likely candidate to be carrying drugs? The young, unshaven guys with golf bags? The young family with the crying baby (no one would ever suspect them). The couple that appeared to be honeymooning?

Alas, it was no one. After several minutes, the officers allowed us to pick up our bags, enter the airport, and go upon our way.


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